Baseball struggles through competitive North Divison
An overall status of eight wins and seventeen losses have the Carroll University baseball team rethinking ways to improve the remaining season.
The Pioneers have lost 11 out of 13 games since they last played the Beloit Buccaneers in a four-game series on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4. The Buccaneers are now ranked 25th according to the d3baseball.com Top 25 poll, as released on Monday.
On April 10, the Pioneers traveled to De Pere for a Midwest Conference doubleheader but hit a road block as St. Norbert College swept the four-game series.
The conference games on Thursday, April 9 were hosted by St. Norbert and the final two were held at Waukesha West high school on Saturday, April 11. The four-game sweep of Carroll posted final scores of: Carroll 3, St. Norbert 12 (game 1)– Carroll 2, St. Norbert 13 (game 2) and Carroll 4, St. Norbert 16 (game 3) – Carroll 1, St. Norbert 7 (game 4).
With hopes to end the losing streak, the Pioneers took on the Concordia University Falcons in a double-header on Monday, April 13.
In game one, Concordia cruised to a 12-2 win while the Pioneers committed another five errors in the field. Carroll was only down by two runs in the fourth inning but the Falcons scored a total of nine runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
The Pioneers quickly struck back in game two and answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to tie the score 3-3. In response, the Falcons hit two grand slams and rallied off another 12 runs defeating Carroll 15-8. Despite Carroll’s loss, senior Chris Elliot had a notably solid game with a 2-for-4 performance including one RBI and one run scored.
When asked how he felt about the team’s performance, Elliot said “it’s been a tough season, and we need to improve as a whole.”
Sophomore pitcher Jason Pattengale agreed and said “it’s tough to stay motivated when we’re losing games and playing in the cold, but there’s a lot of potential within this team.” Pattengale and Elliot also commented on junior reliever Ryne Palger’s performance and recognized that he’s now a starter and playing very well.
At the Midwest Conference game against Lawrence University on April 16, the Pioneers finally ended their losing streak and earned a 10-9 victory in game two of the doubleheader after losing the first game 12-7. In the second doubleheader against Lawrence the Pioneers couldn’t sneak out a win, losing by finals of 11-5 and 10-9.
With only a few games left in their season, the Pioneers returned to the diamond for a nine-inning game against Elmhurst College. After scoring four runs in the eighth inning Elliot finished off the comeback with a two out walk-off two run homerun to give the Pioneers an 8-7 win.
Carroll’s season ends with a doubleheader at Ripon College on Saturday and the a doubleheader against Ripon at Waukesha West on Sunday.